FAQ

“He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love."
Saint Basil the Great

You have questions? We have answers.

1. What are the requirements for becoming a Sister?
The Glenmary Home Mission Sisters welcome into membership women whose lives show a commitment to God and others. An applicant must be:
  • a practicing Roman Catholic
  • a minimum of 21 years of age
  • a high school graduate or equivalent
  • physically, psychologically, and spiritually healthy

To be an active missionary, a woman must also have the maturity needed to live and work in small towns and rural areas, and the ability to grow and develop in her religious vocation.
2. What advice would you give someone thinking of becoming a Sister?
Spending quality and quantity time in prayer is essential to discern every vocation.

We recommend that you find time for spiritual direction with your pastor or some other qualified spiritual director. You may want to contact your diocesan Vocation Director for guidance.

Talk to your family, friends, and church family members to get their advice and support.

We also recommend that you take the time to visit the religious order in which you are considering a vocation. Glenmary always welcomes women to arrange a visit to meet with our Vocation Director.
3. Are there any spiritual practices you would recommend to someone who is discerning?
  • Frequent prayer time throughout the day
  • Praying to our Holy Mother, Mary, who is the model of humility and service is an excellent way to discern
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Retreats
  • Visit the religious order you are considering and meet with the Vocation Director
  • The St. Ignatius Spiritual Exercises is a wonderful tool to use in discernment. We suggest the book by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ entitled "How to Listen When God is Speaking".
4. What vows do you take and when?

We take the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Temporary vows are taken after the completion of the two-year Novitiate. This is a one-year profession and is renewable for at least three years at which time you would be eligible to take perpetual vows.

5. Do you have discernment opportunities?

We do not currently offer specific discernment weekends. However, we do invite any prospective candidate to visit Glenmary and meet with the Vocation Director. This includes an opportunity to visit the missions and get acquainted with the life of the Glenmary Sisters. We also are willing to be creative in helping a woman discern from a long distance such as the use of frequent phone conversations, e-mailing and recommended readings.

6. Is Glenmary an apostolic or monastic community?

The Glenmary Sisters are an apostolic community, actively working with the poor in our mission areas of the southern, rural United States and Appalachia. As a religious order we do have a particular prayer life which we follow, but we are not a monastic community.

7. What is the process for joining your community?
Once a woman has contacted the vocation office we spend quality time getting to know her. We have an initial inquiry period in which we converse and question her (oftentimes over the phone) gaining information that will help the individual and our community better discern whether she might truly be called to be a home missioner with our community. We then want to meet her and invite her to come visit us. From there, we begin the process for entrance which requires many forms, an interview, psychological testing, etc. God willing, the lady will then begin her journey with us as she continues her walk with the Lord.
8. Do you have any upper or lower age limit to the community?
Our current age limits are ages 21-47 for those entering Religious life. However, we do offer an Aspirancy Program for young women ages 18-20.
9. What is an Aspirancy Program?
It is a time for deep discernment on religious life with our Community. The aspirant lives according to the evangelical counsels of obedience, chastity, and poverty while immersing herself into the life and ministry of the Glenmary Sisters serving the home mission needs of rural America in one of our missions under the guidance and direction of our Aspirancy Director.
10. Do you have any educational requirements for admission to the community?
Yes, we do require that she be a high school graduate or GED recipient.
11. Do you accept formally married women, i.e. divorced or widowed?
We do accept women who have been married and/or divorced with an annulment. Widows are also accepted. However, we do not accept women who have dependents.
12. Do you accept women from overseas?
Women who are not United States citizens are allowed to apply but they must have been in the United States for two or more years and have established a residence.
13. Do you enjoy life?
Yes! We do enjoy life. We not only enjoy each other but we meet many interesting people. We do take time for relaxation and enjoyment as a Community and as individuals.
14. How do you earn your living?
The Glenmary Sisters do not earn salaries. We depend on the generous donations of our benefactors to fund the ministry that we do in the missions.
15. Do you wear the habit?
The Glenmary Sisters wear a gray jumper. Wearing a veil is optional. Some of the Sisters choose to wear a veil while others do not.
16. Do your older sisters live with you or do they go to a home?
The Glenmary Sisters consider each aging Sister’s situation and decide what is best for her. Some of the Sisters can be taken care of without going to a nursing home. Others need the extra care of a nursing home.
17. Do you keep your own names or are you given one?
You may keep your baptismal name or choose another.
18. How much time do you spend in prayer?
At the very least we spend two hours a day praying the Office, the prayer of the Church.
19. Do you have any special devotions?
We have a devotion to Our Lady. Our patroness is Our Lady of the Fields and our canonical anniversary is the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. We pray the rosary every day.

We have a Eucharistic Chapel in each of our missions and enjoy special time before the Blessed Sacrament as we pray. We attend daily Mass when available in the missions.
20. Are television, internet or email available in the missions?
Yes, they are available. We enjoy the conveniences of the current technology to aid us in the missions.
21. How often do you see your families?
We see them at least once a year.
22. Do you have any free time?
Yes, we are required to take at least one fun day a month and one full day of prayer a month. Mission work is not an 8 to 5 job. Some days require more than others. We strive to take care of ourselves as well as the people we minister to.